Yupbees: Young, Urban, Beekeeping Professionals

Dec 14, 2008 by

Maybe I'll be the first to coin it, because I'm all about this new movement. That's right: Yupbees. (The fact that this isn't coming up as a misspelled word in my spell check only confirms that this word will join the many greats in our lexicon.) So, there's a great article about urban beekeeping in Germany. The country, like many others, is experiencing a severe loss in its bee population. While most people typically associate bees with beautiful hillsides of lavender and apple trees, bees need to be a part of every landscape, including our urban jungles. What's interesting is that older beekeepers are trying to make beekeeping exciting and accessible to young beekeepers in the cities. They're offering classes and mentorships to help raise awareness and interest for young beekeepers, from school children to working professionals. Currently, hundreds of thousands of bees are flying through the neighborhoods of Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Munich. Apparently, the densely populated Ruhr region now houses more bees than the surrounding countryside. A lot of people ask if they can keep bees in the city. I have a friend who actually gets better honey yields when he keeps his bees in urban bee yards. People in the city tend to grow plants and water them year-round (or at least during the growing season), which provides more bee nectar and pollen than a field of wild flowers that might die mid-summer without water. The cities are also warmer than the countryside and bees can stay active and gather food longer than they might in a rural environment. People are keeping bees on their balconies, rooftops, and even hotel roofs. They're also in London and even Manhattan, and now--thanks to a new Denver law--they're in Denver too. And if you're wondering about honey, here's what one beekeeper had to say about the urban gold: "City honey has an outstanding aroma," said Benedikt Polaczek, a bee researcher at the Free University of Berlin. "And besides, it's very clean, because they don't spray pesticides as much in the city." In Manhattan, "Sheriff Beekeeper" David Graves sells his Rooftop Magic Honey at a premium price. Join the Yupbee revolution. I'm a Yupbee and proud.

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